Growing up as a Jew in the Northeast that was a rabid sports fan (I know, what a rarity), the list of successful Jewish athletes to root for was few and far between. My father bought me a book about famous Jewish athletes and it was shorter than the funny pages. It was basically Sandy Koufax, Hank Greenberg, Dolph Schayes, Mark Spitz, and a bunch of guys I’ve never heard of. There were reports of Rod Carew being Jewish, but I’ve never heard a real confirmation on that from the man himself.
Sure there are some legendary Jewish coaches like Red Auerbach, Larry Brown, and Sid Gillman, but who likes to brag about coaches. And although many of the professional sports teams are owned by Jews, that’s never fun for a kid to root for.
While the 70′s, 80′s, and 90′s didn’t have many successful Jewish athletes to root for, the 21st century may give Heebs like myself a ray of hope. It started with Shawn Green in the last decade, and in this decade we have Ryan Braun, Kevin Youkilis, Ian Kinsler, Ike Davis, and Omri Casspi to root for. And with the recent news of Amar’e Stoudemire going to the Israel to explore his Jewish roots, we now have an explosion of credible Jewish athletes to cheer on. This is better than any Bar Mitzvah gift I got back in 1983!
Adam Sandler was so excited about the potential of Amar’e Stoudemire joining the ranks that he re-did his famous Chanukah Song to include Amar’e Stoudemire. Check it out below.
Listen to the updated verse of the Chanukah Song (thanks to KTAR in Phoenix and my man Spanky Moskowitz)
Editor’s Note/Update: This is not real. This is the work of a brilliant imaging guy in Phoenix. I didn’t think I needed to put this in the post as I thought people would figure that out. It’s already been linked to on CBS Sports. Still deciding if I should feel bad or not.